Peru's Sedapal to add Lima water treatment plants

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Lima state water utility Sedapal, which has struggled to execute its project budget in recent years, plans to invest in at least three new potable water treatment plants around the capital, a senior official said.

The company is advancing plans for the La Atarjea 3, Huachipa 2 and Lurín treatment plants, in addition to more reservoirs in the highlands above Lima and water pipelines to channel water to Lima from the Cañete river, CEO Rudecindo Vega said.

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Sedapal, which plans to invest 20bn soles (US$6bn) in about 200 potable water and sewerage projects over the next five years, has yet to provide services for 100% of the capital's 9mn population, according to water regulator Sunass. The agency will establish subsidized water rates for poor families in the capital who have been identified by the development ministry, Vega said.

"There's a group of projects that will enable us to store and distribute water better," he told state news agency Andina. "We're going to boost efforts and speed so that all these works are built during this administration."

Vega urged residents not to waste water during the February carnival season, when Lima inhabitants are accustomed to dousing passers-by with buckets of water. Sedapal had to ration water in Lima last week after the rain-swollen Rímac river carrying tree trunks, rocks and mud forced the company to shut La Atarjea, its largest plant.

The government, which set a 4.200bn-sol water budget for this year, will allocate an additional 5bn soles to rebuild infrastructure after flooding and landslides left 13 dead and destroyed roads and homes around the country last month.

President Pedro-Pablo Kuczynski has pledged to eliminate all bureaucratic obstacles to US$25bn in delayed infrastructure investment, including 170 potable water and sewerage projects. He has also announced plans to install connections for water services for 100% of the population by 2023.

The Andean region is recovering from the effects of the La Niña phenomenon, where cooler ocean temperatures cause drought in the highlands. The delayed rainy season has already caused widespread flooding in Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and Argentina this year.

Earlier, construction and housing minister Edmer Trujillo inspected the 27mn-sol Yura potable water and sewerage project in the southern Andean city of Arequipa. The project, which involves installing 3,600 residential connections, will benefit 18,000 people, according to a statement posted on the ministry website. Construction has reached the 85% completion mark